Timothy Valero

Occidental College
Tokyo - Language & Culture

Timothy is a third-year East Asian Studies/Diplomacy and World Affairs double major from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Prior to studying abroad, Timothy’s studies have centered on historical and contemporary East Asian and Asian American experiences. He further focuses on social movements and minority rights, and is Vice President of Asian Pacific Americans for Liberation, a cultural/political student organization at his home college. He will be spending his time in Tokyo learning about Japan’s unique history and culture, visiting cat cafes, working hard to improve his Japanese language skills, petting cats, eating as much curry rice as possible, and purchasing cute cat-related items.

Posts by this Author

July 21, 2017

While studying abroad, it's important to balance work in free time. As someone who was called jokingly called "salaryman" by my friends, I look back at everything that kept me so busy.

July 16, 2017

I felt right at home at Kanda University of International Studies: in this post I discuss how the people I met embodied an open-minded campus culture that is relatively unique within Japan.

July 13, 2017

If you ever need a reminder of how little time three months actually is, then my little story about a mad dash to buy Ghibli museum tickets might help you. It was a down-to-the-wire rush to secure tickets for the last time available before the end of the IES Abroad program and us Americans returned home.

July 13, 2017

The IES Abroad-sponsored trip to Okinawa prefecture was one of the most memorable experiences of my time abroad in Japan. Although much of that was because of the fun activities and beautiful scenery, there were also many reminders of an ongoing debate that has sparked many protests on the island. Billboards advocating for peace coupled with imagery opposing American military presence gave this American a lot to think about.

June 29, 2017

As an Asian-American person studying in Japan, I have realized that my experience is much different from those of my white, black, or Latino friends. Although I am able to "blend in" to Japanese society easier than others due to my appearance, these experiences have also given me room to think about my American identity.

June 6, 2017

That might sound a bit obvious, but it can be surprisingly difficult. This post discusses how my Japanese has improved, and why it is important to take every opportunity to speak the language.

April 30, 2017

The IES Tokyo program allows students to take a Field Placement, which has students act as participant-observers in a Japanese business or organization. On my third session with Zentoitsu Worker's Union (a labor union that primarily supports foreign workers in the Tokyo area), I was invited to a mass demonstration. This post is my attempt to contain all my thoughts about the event in but 1000 words.

April 21, 2017

The greatest reason to study abroad in Japan in the spring semester? Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing. As the petals fall from the trees, I look back at my first month in Japan, as well as what lies ahead.

March 17, 2017

Before I depart for Japan, I look back on the experiences that have prepared me for a study abroad experience. Although I have a lifetime of engagement with Japanese culture behind me, I still have so much to learn.